The new foreign secretary, Liz Truss, will meet with the chancellor in the coming weeks to determine her department’s budget over the coming three years. If the chancellor maintains his current stance on counting aid spend even where it has no fiscal cost, and also treating the aid target as a ceiling rather than a floor, it would be like the tail wagging the dog,* with the Chancellor’s stance on the aid target (the tail in this case) directing the UK’s international approach (the much-weightier dog) instead of vice versa, as one would hope. And it could also mean the foreign secretary would have to implement a third round of cuts in UK aid in spring 2022.
CGD Policy Blogs
East Asia’s miracle countries are the stuff of both economic legend and considerable debate. One part of the story may be demographics: East Asia saw rising life expectancy and declining birth rates that dramatically, if temporarily, increased the proportion of the population that was of working age. But now the demographics have shifted as a result of falling birth rates and a rising population of retirement-aged people. Absent a policy response, that could portend a cursed demographic future.
Giving up the “Statebuilding” Ghost: Lessons from Afghanistan for Foreign Assistance in Fragile States
The end of America’s twenty-year war in Afghanistan will change many paradigms that have dominated US foreign policy for decades. President Biden’s recent assertion that military interventions are not the solution to humanitarian crises is a good place to start. Just as urgent is the need to revisit the notion that foreign assistance can build a state.
Today, we publish the 2021 Commitment to Development Index (CDI), which tracks powerful countries’ policy efforts on development across eight important areas, from development finance to migration. One of the CDI’s focal areas is the environment, which matters for everyone but is especially critical to people in lower-income countries. In a key year for climate negotiations, the CDI can tell us which countries are doing well on policies to protect the environment and which have room for improvement.
Today we launch the Commitment to Development Index 2021 measuring the policy efforts of 40 major economies in supporting development in other countries. The CDI focuses on the development spillover effects of policies in eight component areas: development finance, investment, migration, trade, environment, health, security, and technology. Scores can be “income adjusted” to show how countries perform compared to an expected score based on their income. CGD’s been producing the CDI since 2003, and it remains unique.
After 16 years under Angela Merkel, the German federal election is just around the corner, with the chancellorship up for grabs. But no matter which parties form the new government, who presides over it as chancellor, and what that person’s gender is, one thing seems certain: the issue of gender equality will have to be at the top of their agenda.
There was some good this week, too, though – most notably the ten-year anniversary of Michael Clemens’s seminal Journal of Economic Perspectives paper, Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk? The anniversary prompted Michael to discuss the struggles he had in getting it published, generating a quite extraordinary response from the many, many economists who owe the very shape of their worldview to it.
A couple of years ago, we examined aid data from the OECD and UNESCO Institute for Statistics, analysing how much aid is going to education, where it is allocated, by who, and through what channels. Two years on, we provide an update to see what’s changed.
Afghanistan’s history is blighted by the actions of foreigners. The near-neighbours have plenty on their consciences; others further afield do too, including the British a century ago, the Russians in the 1980s, and the US-led NATO coalition over the last 20 years. So who wants what now?
Through its European Investment Advisory Hub, the European Union (EU) has built solid experience in project preparation within its own borders by connecting project promoters and intermediaries with advisory partners who work directly together to help projects reach the financing stage. Building on this approach, we propose the establishment of an Accelerator Hub, which would provide targeted support to identify, prepare, and develop investment projects in Africa.